REIGNING IN LIFE
“They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” Romans 5:17.
The grace that God has extended unto us in our dear Lord Jesus Christ is more than enough to enable us to prevail. “…my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Our God has for us the total wherewith to get therewith. We need abundant grace to finish our race as winners. The wealth of God’s grace is extended unto us in our beloved Lord, so we come boldly to the throne through our faithful advocate.
“But:” Paul seems to use this little word by way of contrast, or, so to speak - “on the other hand.” Although, the depths of their poverty had abounded unto the riches of their liberality because of the grace that had been bestowed upon them (II Cor. 8:1-2) proving the sincerity of their love (8:8). For they knew, “the (gift) grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (8:9). They were “thankful for God’s unspeakable gift” (9:15).
These saints had communicated with Paul’s affliction, and with him concerning giving and receiving (Phil. 4:14-15). They had been used to send repeatedly to the supply of Paul’s need (V. 16). They didn’t to it because Paul desired a gift, nor did Paul mention it here because he desired a gift. Paul’s desire (so full of grace for them) was that fruit would abound to their account.
He knew that these who had sown bountifully would also reap bountifully (II Cor. 9:6). In fact Paul expected Him that ministered seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, to multiply their seed sown and increase the fruit of their righteousness (II Cor. 9:10). Therefore righteousness is not only a gift by grace, but also by grace, fruit is produced.
Their gracious attitude toward the Lord and Paul emitted the sweet odour of Christ that is ever pleasing to God. “But,” with all that being the case, what did Paul expect for them? They would have needs, and Paul took pleasure in necessities. We will always have needs as long as we are here. But Paul puts all, every need into one big pile, as contrasted with God’s exhaustless supply, “His riches in glory.”
We run out of human resources, they seem to evaporate. Material riches can make themselves wings and fly away. Athletic competitors (especially endurance racers) sometimes try to hold back some of their go-power in reserve for the end of their race, instead of going all out. This strategy often fails them and they suffer loss, for different reasons. Contestants in spiritual contest often act thus because of unbelief. Paul said, I’ll gladly spend and be spent.
Beloved, we are coming to the end of our race shall we not go all out and run more consistently and depend completely on the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus?” Who could exhaust “all grace?” What is all our need, compared to His riches in glory?
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all thing, may abound to every good work” – II Cor. 9:8.
“And who is sufficient for these things?” Verses like those in this article comfort our hearts when we feel inadequate for our task, or even the least bit adequate. Glory to God!
Thank God, it is our privilege to reign by the grace of One, enjoy peace in One, exercise power through One, and find in Him sufficient supply to be more than conqueror, unto His praise and eternal glory.